Smaller Banks, Fewer Problems?

With the crash of the mega-banks, more and more Americans are looking away from Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Chase and toward the bank on the corner or other smaller banking options. What can your locally owned bank do for you and your money? What should you look for if you’re planning to move your money and how do you know you’re making a safe and responsible choice? Banking at a local bank keeps money in your community, including business, home and personal loans.

Moving your money out of the big-business bank is becoming a movement. While your small investment may not make a big difference in the future of a large bank, many individuals moving their money can make a significant statement. Visit for more information about this movement.

Once you’ve decided to move your money, do your research. If you visit you can input your zip code and find a list of Institutional Risk Analytics approved banks. These community banks have received a grade of B or better overall, with a number of relevant factors considered. Use the list of high rated banks in your community to choose the local bank that is right for your needs.

If you prefer to bank with a credit union, you might start your search at You can then check individual credit union ratings at Another possible resource to help you choose a credit union is Credit Card Connection offers a listing of ethical credit card companies, including credit unions. Some credit unions have membership requirements; however, others are more publicly accessible.

Visit well rated locally owned banks in person or on-line to see what sort of services and options they can offer. Smaller banks and credit unions offer the same FDIC insurance as larger banking institutions. Many local banks offer convenient ATM access, on-line banking, and high yield savings accounts and CDs. You might even be able to qualify for a low interest credit card and transfer high interest big bank balances to a lower interest local MasterCard or Visa branded card. Consider your own priorities when bank shopping, whether you need good investment options, easy ATM access, or excellent and easy to use on-line banking.

Banking, even on a smaller local level, is a competitive business, so shop around for the best interest rates and benefits. If you have more significant banking needs, you may find the personal service offered by your local bank especially helpful. You can also count on good customer service and access to upper management if necessary.

Here is a list of some High Yield Checking and Saving Accounts.